These Meatballs with Romesco Sauce are the perfect party appetizers! These one-bite appetizers can be dressed up for elegant soirees or dressed down for casual Game Day buffets.
Fall party season is here! From Game Day gatherings to school activities to upcoming holiday parties, there are so many opportunities for entertaining.
In preparation for party season, it’s always good to have a few recipes for party food favorites on hand. And, I’ve found that meatballs are always a hit with a crowd. Anytime I make my honey bourbon meatballs or cranberry meatballs, they’re always some of the first dishes to be eaten up first.
Now I’m sharing another meatball recipe that will help make any party a success!
Meatballs with Romesco Sauce
This recipe for meatballs with romesco sauce calls for a mixture of half ground beef and half ground pork. I’ve found that using a mixture of these meats adds so much more flavor and texture to the meatballs.
I’ll make the meatballs the night before a gathering, then cover them and refrigerate them overnight. I’ll also make the romesco sauce the night before and heat it up just before I’m ready to serve the meatballs.
Have you ever had Romesco sauce?
Romesco sauce is a versatile, nutty, bold orange-red Spanish sauce. You can make romesco sauce in just 5 minutes with toasted almonds, tomatoes, roasted peppers, olive oil and garlic. I’ve added some red wine vinegar for added tang and crusty bread as a tasty thickener.
This is a fantastic sauce for parties because it can be served hot or at room temperature. With the meatballs, it is best served hot.
What goes with Romesco sauce?
In addition to these savory meatballs, you can use Romesco sauce with so many other dishes. Some ideas to try:
- spoon over simple grilled chicken or steak
- add it to roasted pork
- use it as a dip for vegetables (especially for crispy potatoes!)
- as a condiment in sandwiches
How to Serve These Party Appetizers
I love the versatility of this appetizer recipe. It can fit into the line-up of your elegant holiday party buffet table as easily as it can your tailgating party.
For fancier parties: serve each meatball on a wonton soup spoon on top of a dollop of romesco sauce (pictured above). Or, line them up on a nice serving platter with a spoonful of romesco sauce on top, then spear each with a food pick (pictured below).
These are both great ways to turn this delicious party dish into elegant, easy-to-eat finger food so guests can effortlessly mix and mingle.
For casual gatherings: you can serve the cooked meatballs in a big bowl with a bowl of romesco sauce on the side. Guests can spoon however much they want of each onto their buffet plate.
Recipe for Meatballs with Romesco Sauce
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 cup yellow or white onion, chopped finely
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- dried oregano
- dried basil
- 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
Make the Meatballs
- In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, ground pork, ground beef, onion, garlic, egg, oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Use your hands or two forks to fully break up and combine the ground meat with other ingredients.
- Form 1-2" meatballs. Use a cookie scoop for uniform shapes. Place onto a plate or baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour up to overnight.
- When you are ready to cook the meatballs, preheat oven to 400°F. Place the meatballs about 2" apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then broil at 500°F for 3 additional minutes to give the meatballs a nice outer crust.
Make the Romesco Sauce
- In a large bowl, toss the bread and vinegar together to coat. Let stand and soften for about 10 minutes.
- In a small frying pan over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring regularly until just golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to let them cool completely.
- Once the almonds have cooled, add them to a high-powered food processor along with the garlic. Pulse until grainy. Then add the bread and vinegar mixture, tomatoes (with their juices), red pepper, paprika and salt and process until smooth.
- Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream and process just until fully mixed. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper as needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Adapted from a recipe in the Williams Sonoma The Cook and The Butcher cookbook